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   Vol. 17 No. 12
Wednesday February 28, 2018

   Here in the U.S., FedEx is defending its business relationship with National Rifle Association (NRA) telling media that NRA is just another business partner whose politics they ignore.
   Big Purple offers deep discounts to NRA members, although they did have some words about assault rifles, like the one used to kill 17 students and teachers this month in a Florida high school.

FedEx Takes Flak

   “FedEx views assault rifles and large capacity magazines as an inherent potential danger to schools and workplaces and communities when such weapons are misused,” the company said in a statement.
   Social media posts from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School scene of the rampage and slaughter seem to be having none of that.
   “@FedEx just remember, you guys aren’t the only shipping gig in town,” was one post.
   FedEx is digging its heels in, saying that it “does not deny service or discriminate against any legal entity regardless of their policy positions or political views.”

Others Nix NRA Discounts

   Meanwhile United Airlines and Delta Air Lines announced that NRA would no longer get discount tickets.
   Worth mentioning, firearms are accepted with some rules and restrictions via FedEx, UPS and The U.S. Postal Service.
   Only a licensed manufacturer, dealer, or importer can legally ship a handgun via USPS.

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     Nagpur, also known as “Orange City,” is located in the center of India and among other things supplies more than 70 percent of all the fresh oranges (orange barfi counts in that number) in the country.
     But in 2018, the city is also making major aviation headlines. The home to Boeing’s only MRO facility other than Shanghai, and also the place where the Tata Group launched the Central India Spinning and Weaving Company Ltd. popularly called "Empress Mill" on January 1, 1877, the day Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India, is now building an international multi-modal cargo hub and airport at Nagpur to rival Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Hey Friend Do It Again

     Actually a cargo hub plan was floated in Nagpur back in 2008 that almost sank before launch, with only a few takers for the logistics park concept.
     But now the fortunes of MIHAN or the Multimodal International Hub and Airport at Nagpur as it is known, have been changing with a lot of activity on the ground.

Fadnavis & Gadkari Kickstart

     While the credit for kick-starting MIHAN can well go to two of the city’s well known personalities – Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari – it is Fadnavis who has been promoting Nagpur.
     Last year, for example, during the ‘Make in India’ week held in Mumbai, Nagpur was hyped as an investment hub and it received commitments from electronics, textile, defense, infrastructure and agro industries.

Still Textiles

     Good to recall as mentioned earlier here, the textile business continues to flourish. For example Amravati, which in 2018 is being promoted as India’s largest textile hub, is only two hours away.
     However, what is really grabbing attention is Nagpur’s emergence as a defense hub.
     Recently the joint venture of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group and French partner Dassault, using Nagpur as their subcontinent base, set up a unit for the manufacture of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft purchased by the Indian military.
     In addition, Tata’s aerospace business unit is also located in MIHAN.

A New Mandate

     Nagpur Airport, also known as the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport, until recently under the joint control (the government-controlled Airports Authority of India (AAI) and MIHAN India Limited (MIL), is now a joint venture of the Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) and the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
MADC and AAI have 51 percent and 49 percent share holdings, respectively.
     MIL is mandated to develop and expand Nagpur Airport as a Multi-Modal International Hub Airport.

First Airport Operated by State

     MIL, the authority that oversees the gateway, is the first state-government organization to operate an international airport in India.
     One of the main tasks of MIL will be the privatization of the facility.
     Sources in MIL told FlyingTypers that Requests for Proposal (RfP) to operate Nagpur have been sent out to five private organizations including GVK and GMR, airport operators at the four major international airports in the country, Mumbai and Bangalore and Delhi and Hyderabad, respectively.
     Among the other contenders are PNC Infratech Limited, Tata Reality and Infrastructure Limited and Essel Infra Project Limited.

Before FedEx Was A College Thesis

     The Nagpur story began decades ago.
     The move to create a multimodal cargo hub, leveraging Nagpur’s geographical position, was based on the Indian Night Air Mail service that was started on January 30, 1949. This was possibly the world’s first hub and spoke overnight service, as mail from four main cities of the India landed in Nagpur at night, was sorted and flown out in the morning.
     A fine example of a hub-and-spoke operation, the four main cities formed the four corners: Delhi in the north, Mumbai in the west, Kolkata in the east, and Chennai in the south.
     Connecting these cities was nothing but a breeze because of the central India location of the city of Nagpur.

What Is Old Is New Again

     That that pioneering air mail service serves as inspiration to set up MIHAN is one thing. The project at hand, conceived as the biggest economical development project in the country in terms of investment bears close observation by transportation professionals.
     Nagpur will after all convert the present airport into a major cargo hub with integrated road and rail connectivity.

The Fast & Furious

     Today with a pro-active government at Delhi and with the support of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, a ‘son of the soil’, the Nagpur project is on a fast track.
     In addition to defense industry commitments, work at the Dhirubhai Ambani Aerospace Park at Nagpur continues.
     Also on tap, situate at the park will be headquarters facilities for Thales, Daher and Strata.
Tirthankar Ghosh/Geoffrey

Celebi Delhi hub team “celebi-rates,” offering India shippers first of its kind service for pharma and perishables that includes two cool dollies and an airside facility that accelerates cargo connections.

     The big story right now out of India cargo is implementation of the government mandated Goods and Services Tax (GST) that among other things has created an environment that is helping air cargo.
     Airports, particularly the major international gateways like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, are innovating to boost cargo volumes.

The Knitting Network

     Bengaluru Airport, for example, started the bonded trucking service last year as FlyingTypers reported exclusively.
     The airport in collaboration with its cargo partners – Menzies Aviation Bobba Bangalore (MABB) and Air India SATS Airport Services (AISATS) launched a dedicated bonded trucking service from Tirupur, 320 km away, to the airport, as part of the “Knitwork Connect”, BLR project.
     The service was initiated with the aim to connect Tirupur, also known as the knitting capital of India, to Bengaluru. That move has helped exporters to send their consignments by road in an efficient and safe manner.
     Delhi airport too has not been far behind. It started bonded trucking services from the industrial city of Kanpur (around 8 hours and 520-odd km by road).

GST Encourages Trucking Kolkata

     Kolkata is the gateway for the Northeastern states that have hitherto remained isolated because of the lack of connectivity.
     Fruits and vegetables from the Northeastern states, in fact, are wasted simply because there are not enough flights.
     Kolkata Airport has capacity to handle cargo, but with only a handful of international flights, barely one-third of the harvest is shipped out daily.

New Celebi Delhi Cargo Terminal

     Celebi Management India is planning to start a trucking service from Kolkata (22 hrs and 1,500 km away) to New Delhi.
     Talking to FlyingTypers about the Celebi Cargo-Kolkata link-up, Ramesh Mamidala, CEO, said:
     “We want to start bonded trucking from Kolkata Airport as a solution for our customers. Kolkata is a 4500T (per month) market.
     “Of this, 3200T (per month) moves from the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport. The rest – 1300T moves via Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru airports.”
     The CEO pointed out that Celebi wanted to “bring awareness amongst customers about Delhi Airport and how it can act as an ‘Exit Kolkata’ solution”.
     “That would result in cost savings with cheaper freight rates and handling charges,” Mamidala said.
     “We also wish to help remote Durgapur Airport, with loads connecting to Delhi.
     “Our move to connect with Kolkata provides a win-win solution for all.”

Export Leads The Way

     “The cargo from Kolkata will initially be for export.
     “We are getting approximately 350T per month at the moment from the market, but foresee a total of 800T to 900 T coming to Delhi per month in the future, from the overflow cargo in the market,” said Mamidala.
     In addition to the export cargo, “our customers like IndiGo and Jet Airways have been bringing full loads of domestic cargo from Kolkata to Delhi too,” Mamidala added.

An Agricultural Powerhouse

     Kolkata and the Northeastern part of India are an ideal perishables source, with ample fruits and vegetables that can be shipped to other parts of the world.
     As example, pineapple traffic from Guwahati is currently moving to Dubai via Delhi utilizing Customs at Kolkata.

Dhaka Cargo Increases Demand

     Cargo movement from Dhaka transiting Delhi has spiked as restrictions on Biman Bangladesh Airlines Cargo imposed by the British Government continue at that carrier’s critical UK gateway to Europe.
     Pharma reportedly has increased by 15 per cent into Delhi and is expected to increase further in 2018.

The GST Factor Looking Ahead

     GST could indeed turn out to be a ‘game changer’ for the Indian air cargo sector. According to Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari:
     “India's logistics sector will gain the most from the Goods and Services tax as costs fall by almost 20 percent.”
     “Along with the tax moves, the government is keen to set up logistics parks at a number of places across the country that would act as freight aggregation and distribution hubs,” Gadkari said.
Tirthankar Ghosh

   Seeing Red . . . Aeroflot flight attendants at The Russian Investment Forum (RIF) Annual two-day trade show event in Sochi, February 15-17, which featured 55 events and more than 500 speakers.
   At the opening of the Forum, more than 400 conferees took part in a charity run along the Sochi Formula One circuit to commemorate the Winter Olympics that took place here four years ago.

   Keynote speaker Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in his speech, “Investing in the Regions, Investing in the Future,” noting that one of the values of the Forum was that it “targets Russia as a whole, in order to effectively incorporate the regions into the trajectory of global development.”

   Triumph & Victory is an English translation of the Russian word pobeda.
   Now Pobeda Airlines LLC (DP), part of Aeroflot Group is carrying victory aloft having started up in December 2014.
   Pobeda flights fan out to destinations across Russia, Germany, Italy and elsewhere from
Moscow's Vnukovo International Airport (VKO), Vityazevo Airport in Anapa (AAQ), and Adler-Sochi International Airport (AER).
   Latest triumph is Moscow to Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic flight launched last week on February 17, 2018.

If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
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011718Vol. 17 No. 9
Trump Effect One Year Later
Chuckles for February 14, 2018
Disruptors & The New Paradigm
Valentine's Greetings
011718Vol. 17 No. 10
Cargo India Optimistic 2018
Chuckles for February 16, 2018
Scholte Action As TIACA Gains Momentum
Container Ships Last Call

Kung Hei Fat Choy

Vol. 17 No. 11
The Sky's No Limit For United

Chuckles for February 21, 2018
Wish We Had Said That
Letters for February 21, 2018

Publisher-Geoffrey Arend • Managing Editor-Flossie Arend
Film Editor-Ralph Arend • Special Assignments-Sabiha Arend, Emily Arend • Advertising Sales-Judy Miller

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